Movement through awareness

The Dirty Hand Print

All dancers know the feeling of freedom, when you confidently dance the steps embedded in your muscle memory, enjoying the music and the feeling of being in present moment. When I was a bit older, I did improvisational dance, where there are no memorised steps. I was stunned by the multitude of choices that presented themselves in any given moment. It took a great deal of courage to trust my chosen movement decisions and responses in a performance setting.

It was interesting to see how this improvisation experience used to flow into my everyday life. Improvisation reminded me that in any given moment in our lives there are different ways that we can move or act. It highlighted to me that we must habitually act throughout much of our life, forgetting about all the choices that we have. We might get out of our car in the same sequence. Or our manner of walking may not change, whether we are moving on sand or concrete.

My husband is a builder, and often he comes home filthy. On our tiled bathroom wall, we both noticed a dirty handprint that had been built up over time. I asked him is that where you lean when you are removing your clothes for your shower after work? He said yes. What’s curious is the handprint built up in the same spot.

It’s efficient to have habits, we can’t be constantly checking our every move. But overtime when these habits become repetitive our bodies can become tired and worn from being held in similar positions and moving in a limited range.

Simply having the awareness that we are making a choice, in each moment, and don’t always have to do things the same way is enough to provide a sense of freedom.

Moshe Feldenkrais said, “When you know what you are doing, you can do what you want.”

Luckily Feldenkrais is not as confronting as improvisational dance. In my first Feldenkrais workshop, it felt like I was being handed the possibility to move in ways I had never done before. As a person who had done many different types of dance and movement, it felt like a rare gift.

In an `Awareness through movement’ lesson you are safely guided to experience a range of movement options. Feldenkrais gives you a map of uncharted territory. It’s a map of you. It’s the ultimate adventure to explore places you have never been before. Like any travel, it wakes you up, makes you feel different, and afterwards you can experience the world differently.

If you are curious and like an adventure with an internal feeling of freedom, then learning about a new range of movement options through the Feldenkrais Method can be very rewarding.